What is Networking?
Quote: Power networking involves the development of a team of powerful, proactive referral partners capable of producing a steady flow of referrals for your business.
In this chapter:
o Examples of power networking
o Defining networking
o 7 Myths and truths about networking
Before we talk about networking, let’s take a look at some examples of the results that some have achieved by applying the principles of effective networking. The examples we cite are mostly from Local Business Network simply because these are the individuals with whom we have worked and whose stories we know. In most cases, you can replace LBN with the words “structured networking organization”.
We share these stories to help you understand how truly powerful networking can be for anyone who is willing to learn the principles of power networking and to apply them consistently. Many who do so achieve rewards totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. For many, business from referral partners account for 25% to as much as 90% of their sales. We hope these examples will encourage you to read further and to consider seriously the principles we teach.
Website Design Firm Finds Structured Networking its Most Powerful Business Growth Tool
Steve Hyer started IGD Solutions, a website development firm, in 1999. In 2000, he joined Local Business Network, a structured business referral organization. Steve was not only new to business, but new to networking.
For the ensuing three years, LBN referrals accounted for an average of 38% of his business. In real dollars, that amounts to six figures each year. Forming strategic and referral partner relationships with members of his own chapter and with those in other chapters helped Steve create a continuous referral stream and thus a continuous stream of new leads and new clients. Steve found the regional mixers particularly helpful in finding and developing referral partner relationships with those in the technology field.
Steve writes that, “LBN is the single most effective method we have used to promote our business. The structure of meeting twice a month and really focusing on sharing referrals makes it extremely effective.”
From Corporate Cast Off To Successful Business Owner In 1 Year
Mark Raymond was laid off abruptly from his information technology job when his company was bought out. The IT market was slow and Mark knew he needed to find additional sources of income. He knew it takes time to grow any business.
Mark had an entrepreneurial background. He had owned a number of different businesses before, ranging from working as a disc jockey, to being a truck driver, to operating as a multi-media expert with auto shows. Fortunately, he had built a successful real estate rental business and owned more than ten properties. Still he needed to replace his IT income.
Mark joined Pre-Paid Legal Services as an Independent Associate. He focused on the sales aspect instead of building a team, but needed prospects and referral partners. His target markets were companies and small business owners, but he did not know where to start.
His wife, Tricia Raymond, a real estate agent, already belonged to a Local Business Network and she encouraged him to use the networking to promote his business. Mark only knows one way to go – full speed ahead. He became the President of his LBN chapter and aggressively built referral relationships.
Within one year of joining LBN, he sold over 400 Pre-Paid Legal memberships. Nearly half, 180 memberships, came directly or indirectly from LBN. Today he has a rapidly growing nationwide network of business associates helping to grow his business.